The Probate,
Estate Planning, and
Business Law Firm

Practice Areas

1. Probate Administration.

Probate administration is the legal process which is necessary for the distribution of a deceased person’s assets and the payment of a deceased person’s debts. A deceased person’s estate is subject to probate if he or she owned property in his or her own name or if the decedent has a legal right to a claim (i.e. a lawsuit).

The probate process involves the appointment of a Personal Representative, also referred to as an executor, who is the person responsible for administering the affairs of the deceased person. Radner Law Firm provides legal services to assist in the completion of the probate process, including the negotiation of debts, the collection of assets, the distribution of assets, and tax consequences.

2. Probate Litigation.

Unfortunately, some estates involve disputes among family members. Disputes relate to whether a deceased person was competent to implement a Will, disputes between beneficiaries over which property each beneficiary shall receive, administration fees of the Personal Representative and the value of assets. Disputes may also arise if a beneficiary wrongfully takes control of a deceased person's property. Issues involving a Revocable Living Trust also are handled in the Probate Court. Radner Law Firm will represent an individual, an Estate, or a Trust in a probate litigation matter.

3. Will Contests and Challenges.

Although you may be presented with a Will from a family member, the Will can be challenged if the Will was executed under duress, undue influence from a third party or if the deceased was not competent at the time the Will was executed. Furthermore, Michigan has legal formalities with regard to the implementation of a Will including that the Will be signed and witnessed. Will contests are handled by the Probate Court.

4. Wills and Revocable Living Trusts. (Part of Estate Planning).

Radner Law Firm assists in the implementation of a Will and Revocable Living Trust which are necessary to document your wishes and intentions. Perhaps the most important function of a Will is to name a Guardian for a minor child. In fact, a Will is the only method to name a Guardian to raise a minor child in the event of the death of the parents. A Will is subject to probate. A Revocable Living Trust is also an instrument that distributes property but allows for the distribution of property without the probate process. In other words, a Revocable Living Trust provides for a private transfer without delay or the expense of the probate process. A Revocable Living Trust also allows for a distribution to a beneficiary over a period of time if the beneficiary is too young to handle an inheritance all at once.

5. Financial and Medical Durable Powers of Attorney. (Part of Estate Planning).

A person has the opportunity to establish a Financial and Medical Durable Power of Attorney during their lifetime. A Financial Power of Attorney is a document whereby an individual appoints a representative to handle his or her financial decisions. A Financial Durable Power of Attorney can be effective upon incapacity or an individual has the right to establish a Financial Durable Power of Attorney to appoint someone to assist with their financial responsibilities immediately.

A Medical Durable Power of Attorney, which is also referred to as a Patient Advocate Designation in Michigan, is a document whereby a person appoints a representative to make medical decisions on his or her behalf. A Patient Advocate Designation is vital in that it allows an individual to express his or her wishes as it relates to life support. The failure to implement a Patient Advocate Designation may cause confusion with regard to life support decisions and other medical treatment preferences on behalf of an individual.

The implementation of a Durable Powers of Attorney generally avoids the necessity for a Probate Court supervised Guardianships and Conservatorships.

6. Elder Law.

Elder law generally refers to legal services available to those individuals over the age of 65. It may refer to Estate Planning (developing Durable Powers Of Attorney, a Will and Trust for a client) Medicaid Planning (determining whether an individual is eligible for government assistance in a nursing home or an assisted living situation) or the establishment of guardianships and conservatorships (which are described below.) Estate planning and Elder law can crossover as older individuals need to implement a proper Estate Plan.

7. Guardianships and Conservatorships.

A Guardianship and Conservatorship is an official court appointment of an individual to handle decision making and responsibilities on behalf of an incapacitated person. A Guardianship appoints a person called a Guardian who makes decisions for an incapacitated person relating to medical treatment, where someone resides and the care of a person. A Conservatorship involves the appointment by the Court of a Conservator to handle the finances of an incapacitated person. A Guardian and a Conservator is supervised by the Court. Radner Law Firm assists in the request by a person to be the Guardian and/or Conservator. A Guardianship and Conservatorship may also apply in the event of a minor who may be entitled to receive a financial benefit, which may result from a lawsuit or inheritance.

8. Business Litigation.

Radner Law Firm will represent you in a wide variety of business and commercial disputes including breach of contracts, purchase and sale issues, interference with business relationships, business ownership issues and landlord/tenant disputes. Radner Law Firm can assist you to enforce your contractual rights or to defend you against potential business claims. These types of disputes can be complex and strategic decisions are vital in reaching a satisfactory result. Radner Law Firm will assist you in reaching a satisfactory result in an efficient manner.

9. Business Representation.

Radner Law Firm represents both large and small businesses on a variety of legal issues. Business representation services include:

  1. Business formation which involves choosing the correct business entity with an emphasis on liability protection and tax consequences;
  2. Business contracts including Buy-Sell Agreements among owners and contracts with outside third parties; and
  3. The purchase and sale of businesses. Radner Law Firm will represent you as a purchaser or seller of your business. It is very important to obtain legal representation in these matters as there are tax consequences, non-compete issues and consulting issues. There are also important issues with regard to the assumption of liabilities and debts of a business.

10. Real Estate.

Radner Law Firm represents owners of real estate and tenants along with companies and individuals who purchase and sell property. Radner Law Firm will assist you with your real estate disputes including ownership issues, easements and purchase and sale issues. Radner Law Firm will also assist you with regard to how to title real estate including Limited Liability Company or Corporation ownership, joint tenancy issues and transfers through a Revocable Living Trust.

11. Asset Protection.

In any transaction, including the development of an estate plan or the establishment or maintenance of a business, asset protection planning is an important issue. Radner Law Firm can help you maximize your asset protection strategies to minimize potential personal risk. The State of Michigan identifies certain assets that are protected from liability while other assets are exposed. Radner Law Firm can assist you in developing a strategy to protect your assets.